Barbara Echlin writes:
One of my favourite modern wooden statues is in a nearby local park. It portrays a butterfly, ladybird, worm and spider clinging on to an ancient fern. Our planet has an abundance of living creatures of all colours, shapes and sizes. Ferns similar to the common bracken were thriving before the dinosaurs roamed the earth.
Sadly, the recent WWF report, The Living Planet, shows that populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians have declined by 60% in less than 50 years. A fifth of the Amazon has gone in the same time. Humans have only been around for 200,000 years, a tiny blip in the 4.5 billion years of our planet’s history. Yet we have had a greater impact on the Earth than any other species. All over the world, we are cutting down forests, using too much water from rivers, burning fossil fuels to wreck the climate, choking our oceans with plastic and pushing many animals to extinction.
For both people and planet to thrive, now and in the future, we need a healthy planet, with a rich variety of plants and animals and vibrant ecosystems. The challenge we face is to find ways of meeting the needs of our growing population while protecting nature and preventing climate change. Visit the WWF website to find out more.
During Advent our minds focus on Christmas when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Edwin Muir wrote these lines on Jesus’ birth which illustrate how connected Jesus was, and is, with all God’s creation.
Was born a Child in body bound
Among the cattle in the byre.
The clamorous world was all around,
Beast, insect, plant, earth, water, fire.
We are connected with Jesus – and through and with him, we are connected with all his creatures, great and small. As Christians we have special responsibilities to care for all of them. We can show that care in the way we eat, travel, garden, shop, support local wildlife, and in our prayers.
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